Local officials wearing orange for National Gun Violence Awareness Day

Augusta Mayor Hardie Davis leads a press conference with other officials for National Gun Violence Awareness Day.

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – The cities of Augusta and Waynesboro are working together to prevent gun violence.

Leaders from both cities declared Thursday National Gun Violence Awareness Day.

So far this year in Richmond County, there have been 51 shootings.

Dozens of Augusta and Waynesboro officials are wearing orange to symbolize the importance of human life.

“This is not a political issue, this about saving lives, and the important issue is that there are responsible gun owners that are out there. I’m one of them. My family members are some of them, but we senselessly have too many shootings and killings in our communities as a result of people who are possessing illegal guns,” Augusta mayor Hardie Davis said.

The Wear Orange campaign started after 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton was shot and killed in Chicago in 2013.

The girl’s friends chose to wear orange to remember her life.

Now local city leaders are hoping the people of both cities will hear the message.

“No, we won’t stop it all, but if you save one life, that’s one life that’s for the good,” Waynesboro mayor Pauline Jenkins said.

Richmond County sheriff Richard Roundtree is trying to put an end to the violence by taking illegal guns off the streets.

The Suns Out, Guns Out of the Wrong Hands initiative has lead to the collection of more than 100 guns.

“We are excited that we did have some citizens that called that lead directly to arrests, but we need more. We need people to step up and show that they are concerned about what’s happening in their community and I think it’s starting to catch on,” Roundtree said.

Mayor Davis is hoping people will catch on as well.

Since hunters wear the color orange for safety, the mayor is encouraging gun safety.

“Citizens can report stolen guns immediately. Citizens can properly secure and store the guns that they own. They can keep registration information safe and in a separate location,” Davis said.

The sheriff says people who want to get rid of guns or ammunition can do so by contacting the sheriff’s office.

The agency will help you out with that.

If you know someone who has an illegal gun, please call is 1-866-939-5050.

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